Parents' Guide to

Cat Ballou

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Wild West satire with strong heroine, but drinking humor.

Movie NR 1965 97 minutes
Cat Ballou Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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Is It Any Good?

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CAT BALLOU, a cheerful satire of conventional Westerns, is a lot of fun, with attractive performers and an Oscar-winning performance by Lee Marvin in the dual roles of Shelleen and Strawn. Stubby Kaye (Guys and Dolls) and Nat "King" Cole show up as something between a Greek chorus and medieval minstrels, singing the story as it unfolds. It is good for kids to see a movie with a strong, brave, and resourceful young woman, who is an effective and inspiring leader (though all the men have crushes on her).

Unfortunately, much of the movie's humor relies on the drunken behavior of Shelleen and plenty of sexual innuendo. Nothing's overt and kids won't see anything shocking, but the underlying message that alcohol abuse is funny sends an iffy message for kids and teens.

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